UPDATE (3/30/20, 9:51 a.m. ET): This story has been updated with additional information regarding the 2020 Olympic Games postponement.
The 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympic Games is the latest organization to postpone their event due to the coronavirus, an International Olympic Committee member first told USA TODAY Sports on March 23. The following day, the IOC confirmed that the event will take place "no later than summer 2021," according to BBC Sports, and on March 30, the event was officially rescheduled to start on July 23, 2021, the New York Times reported.
"I proposed to postpone for a year and [IOC] president Thomas Bach responded with 100 percent agreement," Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said, adding that the Tokyo Paralympic Games will also be postponed until 2021.
In a statement, the IOC and the organizers of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games said, "the unprecedented and unpredictable spread of the outbreak has seen the situation in the rest of the world deteriorating," according to the BBC. The group cited the World Health Organization's comment that the COVID-19 pandemic is "accelerating," which made the group decide to reschedule the games "to a date beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021, to safeguard the health of the athletes, everybody involved in the Olympic Games and the international community."
Veteran IOC member Dick Pound told USA TODAY on March 23 that postponement was decided based on the information the IOC has with regards to the spread of the novel coronavirus. "The Games are not going to start on July 24, that much I know."
This comes just days after the IOC executive board said they were considering postponing, but not canceling, the Olympic Games. Many countries — including Canada, Australia, Germany, Brazil, and Norway — have been urging Tokyo to postpone the Games. This is the first time the Olympic have ever been suspended or postponed, but the Olympic Games have been canceled in the past. The 1916 Summer Olympics were canceled due to the outbreak of World War I; the 1940 and 1944 Games were also canceled due to World War II.